Getting help for drug use is an important turning point in any individual's
life. Drug dependence is not just a phase or a bad habit that a person goes
though, it is a serious problem that needs attention. Unfortunately, many people
become dependent on drugs to "solve" their problems, which in turn
creates more problems for them. If you are concerned about your drug use or
someone that you care about use of drugs, it is important to become informed
on what you can do to help.
This first section is for those looking to help someone they care about who
has a drug problem. When someone has a drug problem, it's not always easy to
know what to do. Should you talk to them? Should you leave them alone? Should
you get someone else to help? Consider this, if they needed medical attention,
you would contact a doctor. If they were going to hurt themselves, you would
do everything in you power to stop them. It is because you care about them that
you do not want to see them in harm's way. The same idea applies to their drug
use. It might surprise you, but your friend or loved one needs you now more
The most important thing you can do is to be supportive of them. Showing support
helps to let them know that you care and that they are not alone. Many of you
may have already tried this and it was not successful. If this is the case,
continue to encourage them to ask for help. Continually remind them that you
are there when they are ready to get help for their drug problem. Keep in mind
though, you can not force them to stop using drugs. You can only encourage them
to continue to try to stop taking drugs and seek professional help.
- Talk to them when they are sober. Remain calm and caring while you remind
them that you care about them and support their decision to quit using drugs.
- Try not to judge them. Do not accuse them of being a drug addict or of having
a drug abuse problem. This will only make them defensive and less likely to
participate in a conversation about receiving help.
- Do your best not to blame them for their drug problem. Placing the blame
on them while trying to help them will make them defensive and they may push
- Express how you feel to them. Tell them about the things you have seen them
do when they are on drugs. Be sure to use specific examples, and tell them
that you are there to help them.
- They may become angry and feel as though they are being cornered. They may
deny they have a problem with drugs and say that there is nothing wrong. This
is not unusual. Stay calm and supportive of them. You may decide to end the
conversation but remember to bring it up latter once they have cooled down
and have had time to think about what you have said.
- Be prepared. Prior to talking to them find out where they can get help for
their drug problem. Research treatment programs, counselors, and meetings
they could attend. You might offer to go with them to get help - but be prepared
to follow through. This will show that you really care.
For those of you looking for help with your own personal drug problems there
are plenty of resources to choose from. Across the United States there are numerous
organizations built upon helping those who have problems with drugs. You may
consider going to counseling, meetings, treatment or rehab.
Remember, recognizing you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.
It takes strength to admit that you need help. For help with your drug problem
to work, you truly have to want to get clean. Without this internal desire,
even the most qualified and highly trained help will not work. Now is that time
to take action and get help for your drug problem. Only you can end you drug